Ruchika Girhotra’s molester S.P.S. Rathore on Friday got interim bail till January 7, even as the Home Ministry considered handing over the fresh cases launched against him this week to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI).
District and Sessions Judge S.P. Singh asked Rathore to submit himself for interrogation if the police wanted to question him. He has been asked not to leave the country.
The bail reprieve could be short-lived. “At this stage …the court is not exercising its power either to grant or refuse anticipatory bail,” the order said.
The two fresh FIRs charge Rathore with attempting to murder Ruchika’s brother Ashu and doctoring her post- mortem report.
Last week, a CBI court sentenced Rathore to six months in jail for molesting Ruchika (14) in 1990. Three years later, she committed suicide after the police allegedly began harassing her family at Rathore’s behest.
Rathore’s lawyer wife Abha alleged that facts had been fabricated. “Anand Prakash and the Girhotras have launched a malicious campaign by sensationalising Ruchika’s death to become heroes in the media.”
Ruchika’s classmate Aradhna said the order showed people like Rathore could get away. “We are going through a period of hope and doubt.”
On Thursday, Home Minister P. Chidambaram expressed displeasure over the way the Ruchika case had been handled.
A home ministry official said the Haryana government will have to send a request to the Centre seeking the probe.
In the court on Friday, Abha alleged Ruchika underwent trauma due to neglect from Girhotra’s second wife Veena.
Aradhna’s father Anand Prakash said Abha had played with facts.
“Veena was a guardian and not Girhotra’s second wife.”